Everyone is a stakeholder when it comes to sustainable development. Therefore, actions at the individual or organisational level will no doubt lead to positive impact for the hospitality industry as a whole, says Marc Descrozaille, Chief Operating Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, Accor. He shares with TRAVTALK the recent trends in the sector in the region.
What are the short-term and long-term sustainable development plans and the way forward in hospitality?
Everyone is a stakeholder when it comes to sustainable development. Therefore, actions at the individual or organisational level will no doubt lead to positive impact for the industry as a whole.
In the case of a hotel, they are ecosystems, which we are able to influence to a certain degree by choosing more sustainable alternatives, such as conscious use of resources; water and energy conservation; reduction of food waste; the objective to reach net zero emissions; and ongoing dialogue with manufacturers and
suppliers for responsible sustainable alternatives.
At Accor, our main goal for 2022 is eliminating all single-use plastic from our hotels, we are already working closely with our procurement teams to find sustainable replacements that match our brand requirements to not impact the guest experience or expectations during their stay. Furthermore, we have strong partnerships in place, such as the Dubai Can initiative, which was rolled out this year.
What initiatives are made to incorporate it in the day to day operations in sustainability?
At Accor, we have implemented a number of day to day activities to assist our teams to work with a more sustainable mindset such as Sustainability Onboarding training for all Heartists (team members) in all our hotels; use of ecolabel led chemicals; water and energy saving units; emphasis on using local produce and services when possible; strong waste segregation and recycling objectives; and guest engagement (towel and linen reuse programme, recycling, sustainable food menus). Furthermore, we are also moving forward with a number of digital programmes, which include the below:
- Accor Key: keyless door solution that offers guests the opportunity to unlock their rooms through an application on their mobile phone
- ALL Connect: Hybrid meeting solution launched in partnership with Microsoft Teams
- Digitalisation of restaurant and in room dining menus: usage of QR codes, so guests can view the menu offerings directly on their mobile phones
What are the current trends in the region?
This year, we have seen a slowdown in the demand for small to medium sized events and the trend is to organise these virtually through online portals such as Teams and Zoom. However, big events are recovering at a faster rate and, therefore, we are seeing an increase in demand.
How is FIFA World Cup looking overall for the hospitality in the region?
Winter in the GCC region is indeed a high demand season traditionally, which sees our hotels reach high occupancies. This year, with the World Cup taking place in the region, we are expecting to see even more demand, not only in Qatar, but also in the neighbouring countries as well.